Clin Exp Med 2019 Apr 20. Epub 2019 Apr 20.
Department of Laboratory Medicine, The People's Hospital of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Nanning, 530021, Guangxi, China.
Tetraspanins have been implicated in multiple biological functions including protein networking and cell signaling. NET-6 (TSPAN 13) has been demonstrated to be a tumor suppressor gene in breast cancer, while CD151 is more likely to act as an oncogene. However, the biological function of both proteins is still inconclusive. Immunohistochemistry was used to analyze the expression of NET-6 and CD151 proteins in breast tumors and benign epithelial cells. The cellular expression of both markers was correlated with HER2, ER, and PR status as well as tumor grade, Ki-67 scores, invasion, and metastasis. Expression of NET-6 and CD151 was variable both in tumors and in benign epithelial cells. Expression of NET-6 and CD151 was stronger in tumors than in benign epithelial cells. The expression of NET-6 was also stronger in HER2-negative, low-grade, lymphovascular invasion-negative, and non-metastatic breast tumors. There was no correlation between NET-6 expression and ER, or PR, or triple-negative status. There was no correlation between CD151 expression and HER2, ER, PR, or triple-negative status, tumor grade, or Ki-67 scores, invasion, and metastasis. The expression of tetraspanins NET-6 and CD151 may indicate an alteration of their biological function during neoplastic transformation. NET-6 expression in tumors might be a potential marker indicating the outcome of breast cancer.